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Herring Gulls

Herring Gull The Herring Gull is the predominant species of gull nesting on buildings within Aberdeen City.  It is estimated that there are in the region of 3,500 pairs of Herring Gulls which nest within the City each year.

Adult Herring Gulls are white with pale grey backs and wings, black wingtips,  pale pink legs and feet and a yellow bill with a distinctive red dot towards the lower tip.  Young birds are mottled grey and brown until they acquire their adult plumage after four years.  Herring Gulls have a lifespan of approximately 30 years and mating pairs tend to return to the same nesting site each year.

Herring Gulls hunt fish and other sea creatures but will also take carrion, rubbish, litter and waste food as well as eggs and chicks of other seabirds.  They obtain a substantial amount of their food by scavenging and and will readily feed on waste food in gardens, streets and refuse tips.                                                                     

Herring Gulls or rather their nesting and feeding habits are one of the major sources of complaint to Aberdeen City Council each year and especially during the nesting and fledging period (May - September).  Complaints received vary from noise and fouling to feeding, refuse containment and aggressive behaviour.  Adult gulls will show aggression to people and pets during the nesting and fledging season, particularly if their chicks fall to ground level before they are fully fledged.

Where nests on property give rise to matters of public health concern, consideration should be given to the safe removal of nesting materials and to the possibility of suitably proofing nesting sites. It is also important that refuse is suitably contained to reduce the available food supply.  In areas where Herring Gulls are giving rise to significant matters of public health concern feeding of Gulls should be discouraged.

Contacts

  • Environmental Health and Trading Standards
    Housing and Environment
    Business Hub15
    3rd Floor South
    Marischal College
    Broad Street
    Aberdeen
    AB10 1AB
    Phone: 01224 52 37 37
    Fax: 01224 523 887
    Email: poll@aberdeencity.gov.uk